Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Lend-Lease and Surplus Property Affairs (Fetter)

Participants: Mr. Shvetzoff—Czechoslovakian Desk, FEA3
LP4—Mr. Fetter

I called Mr. Shvetzoff to ask what recent developments had occurred in this field. He informed me that a meeting had been held on June 12 [Page 550] in Mr. Crowley’s5 office attended by Ambassador Steinhardt6 and Mr. Underwood (LA)7 and Mr. Williamson (CE)8 of the Department. (No representative of LP was at this meeting, nor was LP informed of the meeting in advance). In the meeting Mr. Crowley stated that it would be very difficult to justify lend-lease for Czechoslovakia, and he reported that the Joint Chiefs of Staff in response to an inquiry from FEA had indicated that in their view there was no military basis for lend-lease to Czechoslovakia. Mr. Crowley said that he would back an Export-Import Bank loan, and there was some discussion as to whether Czechoslovakia was eligible for such a loan under existing law. The Office of the General Counsel of FEA thought that it was eligible but was checking with the Export-Import Bank. Ambassador Steinhardt was reported as agreeing with the view that lend-lease to Czechoslovakia should be dropped.9

  1. Foreign Economic Administration.
  2. Division of Lend-Lease and Surplus Property Affairs.
  3. Leo T. Crowley, Foreign Economic Administrator.
  4. Laurence A. Steinhardt, Ambassador-designate to Czechoslovakia.
  5. Pierson Underwood of the War Areas Economic Division (LA).
  6. Francis T. Williamson of the Division of Central European Affairs.
  7. Telegram 148, August 21, to Prague advised that a letter had been sent by the Foreign Economic Administrator to the Czechoslovak Ambassador, informing the Czechoslovak Government that in view of the termination of hostilities the FEA was taking appropriate steps to discontinue lend-lease aid to foreign governments in an expeditious manner and desired to enter into negotiations with the Czechoslovak Government regarding the terms and conditions of payment for existing lend-lease supplies in inventory (103.9169). An agreement between the United States and Czechoslovakia on settlement for lend-lease and certain claims was concluded on September 18, 1948. For text of the agreement, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1818.